Every week (well almost anyway…), I head up the Main to Hof Kelsten for my dose of fresh rye or sourdough bread. Thinking about grabbing something different for lunch on one particular occasion, I was reminded that Dirty Dogs was only a minute away on foot serving up gourmet hot dogs. I had first heard of Dirty Dogs in the spring via some friends but never found the moment to go. My first chance had been during the Mont-Royal street fair earlier this summer but their free hot dog special that day created a lineup that snaked off Mont-Royal and down Saint-Laurent street so that didn’t happen. Seeming like the perfect lunch option in this instance, away I went with my loaf of bread in hand.
Dirty Dogs is a small diner space with maybe 8 seats inside but thankfully there is a takeout window in the case where seating inside isn’t possible. The interior is a rustic diner look – dark wood bar counter, wood panels on the walls. It is a sparse space but functional. At least the music is a good mix as you wait for your order!
The menu consists of 10 special dogs each with their own unique toppings and sausages. Each hot dog can also be modified for the vegetarians among us which is a cool touch from a hot dog place. To pair with the dogs, there are a number of sides and drinks to enjoy. Given that this was a solo mission on my first visit, I actually went back a second time to enjoy other items off the menu – good time I have a build-in excuse with my bakery of choice…
The side I tried was their mac n’ cheese – made to order nicely enough and topped with crispy bacon and green onions. Creamy enough but something didn’t click with me… perhaps the cheese wasn’t strong enough. Not sure to be honest. The bacon added some nice crunch although personally I would have preferred softer to get the fattiness into the macaroni. Might as well go full glutton.
I went all in with my first visit so I ordered the “Maurice Richard” – Bourbon vanilla sausage with pan seared foie gras, bacon, 3 year old aged cheddar, caramlized onions and maple syrup. A pricy dog but one that packs a heck of a punch. The sweetness of the vanilla bourbon sausage is subtle but still noticeable which is a good thing given the sweet kick from the onions and the maple syrup. Add to that mix a general amount of foie gras and plenty of bacon and you have quite a hot dog on your hands! Only negative to me was the bun – i actually like the choice of bun used but they are barely served warm… I would preferred them more steamed or even grilled!
For the second visit, I went a little more traditional in my choices. I ordered the “Denis Coderre” – Fine herb pork sausage, coleslaw, onions, yellow mustard and bagel seeds – with a side of regular fries and spicy mayo. Fine issue with the bun again. The hot dog itself is solid – you pick up the fine herb taste in the sausage, the coleslaw/onion/mustard combo is classic and continues to be so. The bagel seeds is an interesting addition that works well. The classic fries are exactly the kind of fries I like with my hot dogs – very reminiscent of your classic Belle Province/ Lafleur. The house spicy mayo had a nice kick to it as well. A solid second visit.
All in all, Dirty Dogs is a solid bet from what I tried. I like the more unique approach to the dogs and the varied choices you have. The macaroni didn’t do it for me but I enjoyed the rest. The price on the higher end dogs may turn off some people used to more standard pataterie prices… same goes for waiting time since these dogs take longer than your regular steamey. Overall a worthwhile visit if you are in need of a bite near the plateau.
25 Mont-Royal Est
514 508 3647